`Dirty tricks' claims are repeated

31st March 1995 at 01:00
Conservative Central Office has come under fire for its attack on Labour councils over "dirty tricks, intimidation and misinformation" against grant-maintained schools.

At least two councils it has accused of bullying tactics have received apologies from the Department for Education following similar complaints.

The DFE was forced to admit that accusations levelled at Nottinghamshire and the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham by former minister of state for education, Baroness Blatch, were groundless.

But they now feature in an "extensive dossier" called "Politics Before Parents" released by Gillian Shephard, the Education Secretary, via Conservative Central Office last week.

Fred Riddell, education chair in Nottinghamshire, said: "It shows how desperate the Education Secretary is." A spokesman for Hammersmith and Fulham said: "The DFE apology speaks for itself."

Central Office, meanwhile, was standing by the document. "It provides criticism from both parents and the party of misleading information that was put out largely by the Labour party."

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